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Making Homelessness History:
Listening to the Voices of Lived Experience
After over 30 years in the hospitality and business world, Mary Putman found her place in the world of Social Justice in 2011. At that time, Mary offered her services to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless to create, open, operate and develop the program for a Social Enterprise, Pizza Fusion. The full service restaurant offered transitional employment and job and life skills training for individuals who have experienced homelessness. This role challenged Mary to utilize every aspect of her experience, intuition, creativity, intelligence, humility, energy and heart; a process she welcomed and carries forward today. The Pizza Fusion closed after 4 years but the human centered work continues as Mary founded The Reciprocity Collective in 2016. The Reciprocity Collective is an organization dedicated to providing bridges between the business community and the nonprofit world to build dynamic partnerships to guide individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty forward; in employment, in community, and all aspects of realizing their full potential of healthy and enriched lives.
About the Reciprocity Collective: WE need to shift our focus back to be more constituent centric, allowing the voices of those that we serve to guide the work that we do. Connect to that and to each other doing work in the community to build effective partnerships that do not compete for folks to call our “clients” but to collaborate to best serve them.